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Amazon to open Manhattan bookstore, its first retail foray into NYC

(Amazon)

(Amazon)

MANHATTAN — Online retail giant Amazon has old school brick-and-mortar plans for 2017 — and it’s about to take its first bite into the Big Apple.

The company says it will open Amazon Books at Columbus Circle later this year, a spokeswoman confirmed Thursday. The store will be Amazon’s first in New York and returns a bookstore to a neighborhood once known for the long-defunct Coliseum Books, whose demise was sealed in part by online book merchants such as Amazon.

Amazon already has retail locations in  Seattle, Portland, Oregon, and San Diego.

Amazon is also planning to open additional sites in Massachusetts, Illinois and New Jersey. Their first location opened in November 2015.

Books in Amazon stores come with the added benefit of reviews. Cards with Amazon.com customer ratings line the rows of bookshelves.

Prices will be similar to online prices offered to Prime customers. Kindle devices will also be available for purchase.

The Amazon Books location is part of the company’s continued expansion. Amazon has its sights set on opening its first drive-up grocery store in Seattle this year.

Columbus Circle was for decades a destination for book lovers who shopped at Coliseum Books, which took its name from the long-gone New York Coliseum across the street. Coliseum Books, which opened in 1974, moved to a smaller store on West 42nd Street  in 2003, across from Bryant Park, before going out of business entirely, in part because of online stores like Amazon.